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CU's new HQ: High-tech, high-touch, no corner office
BRIGHTON, Mich. (7/14/14)--Anyone who walks through the doors of Lake Trust CU's new headquarters once it opens next year may mistake their surroundings for the offices of Facebook or Google.

But while the $1.6 billion-asset, Brighton, Mich.-based credit union is sticking to financial services--as opposed to social networks or search engines--the organization hopes the unique, open workspace environment it has incorporated into the design will stir up the same type of innovation and collaboration that's often found in Silicon Valley.  

"(It's) the kind of organization that we are; we strongly believe in innovation and collaboration, and all of those things truly benefit our members," Danielle Brehmer, Lake Trust vice president of strategic innovation, marketing and public affairs, told News Now . "Having this really open environment, where not even the CEO has an office, we can integrate the different lines of business."

That's right: David Snodgrass, Lake Trust president/CEO, will sit at a work station in the middle of all other employees.

"I don't have an office," Snodgrass told the Lansing State Journal last week.

Brehmer told News Now that Lake Trust staff toured offices like Facebook and Google, as well as local businesses in Michigan, to flesh out the design for the new headquarters.

The building will replace the credit union's current Lansing and Plymouth facilities that are aging and expensive to maintain. The new headquarters also will enable Lake Trust to better serve its expanded field of membership after the 2010 merger of NuUnion CU and Detroit Edison CU.

In addition to open work spaces, the resultant $30 million building will house 350 employees and include a fitness center, cafeteria, walking trail on the perimeter of the property and community rooms.

The 100,000-square-foot facility also will be LEED certified, meaning it will meet the most current sustainable building design standards.

"You can't call yourself innovative if you're not thinking about sustainability and long-term impacts," Brehmer told News Now . "Look at the way of the world, that's who consumers are today."

The building is expected to be completed by October 2015.


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